Does the word “globalization” adequately account for the processes we see in our world today?  Whose story is the globalization story?  Does this story of globalization apply equally to all societies and peoples?  On whose behalf does globalization work and who is left out?  Students will consider whether the term “globalization” is too value neutral, implying as it does that places and peoples across the world are coming together in search of harmony and collaboration around common purposes and goals.  Students will read both advocates and critics of “globalization discourse” and consider instead whether “empire” is a better name for properly describing the relations of power across the globe, where hierarchy, difference, subordination, and erasure are increasingly produced for the majority of the world’s people.  Many argue that ever since the 1980s, humans have come increasingly to inhabit an unequally globalizing world.  Critics of globalization warn that many more people are being left out than included in the processes of connection.  Since the 1970s, inequality, poverty, dispossession, and alienation characterize far more people than ever in the past.  People are more mobile, objects and ideas are produced transnationally, borders are traversed and eroding, and technology overcomes numerous communication barriers, but rather than leave the nation-state behind, more borders and boundaries have been constructed in the past few decades to secure exclusive rights for select citizens.  Transformations of mobility and reconfigurations of space generate new registers of representations, new identities, new subjectivities, and new structures of power and inequality.  Students will take a long view of the past to explore the histories of processes of connection and fragmentation that have shaped the contemporary human experience.




As a ConnCourse, this class will make connections across the liberal arts.

Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 28 students.